Safety JARRETT IRVING of Spring (Texas) Dekaney High School, wide receiver DAJE JOHNSON of Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson High School and defensive tackle IKENNA NWAFOR of Irving (Texas) Cistercian Prep have been selected to play for the 2012 U.S. Under-19 National Team, assembled by USA Football.
Team USA, comprised of 50 top high school players spanning 19 states, will compete in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 1 - National Signing Day - in the third annual International Bowl®, formerly Team USA vs. The World. The Americans will face an IFAF World Team of top players age 19-and-under from outside the United States. More information can be found at www.internationalbowl2012.com.
The International Bowl is sanctioned by International Federation of American Football and will be played at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. IFAF is composed of more than 60 nations spanning six continents that possess a national federation dedicated solely to American football.
Irving helped Dekaney finish 14-2 and was named the MVP in the school's 34-14 victory over Cibolo Steele in the Class 5A state title last fall. He intercepted a pair of passes in the championship game, running one back 61 yards. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound safety has verbally committed to Houston, where he plans to play baseball in addition to football.
Johnson scored 34 total touchdowns for Hendrickson as a senior. The 5-11, 190-pounder rushed for 2,178 yards and 26 touchdowns on 249 carriers (8.7 average). He also caught 28 passes for 500 yards and six touchdowns, adding two more special teams scores. Johnson has verbally committed to play at TCU.
Nwafor recorded 30 tackles, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and blocked two field goals in his senior season. The 6-5, 300-pound defensive lineman has verbally committed to Stanford.
Team USA is led by STEVE SPECHT, head coach of Cincinnati St. Xavier High School. Specht led St. Xavier to Ohio Division I (largest school division) state titles in 2005 and 2007. He is 80-20 (.800) since becoming the head coach at his high school alma mater following the 2003 season.
A national team exemption granted by the NCAA allows high school seniors to play for USA Football and not have their participation count as one of their two permitted all-star game appearances. The International Bowl is recognized as a national team competition.